Dr. Max Polyak (left) and Dr. Charlie Manire (right) performed surgery on Topsy to place the first-ever Inconel implant between the caudal end of the plastron and the muscles lining the coelomic cavity.
Dr. Max Polyak (left) and Dr. Charlie Manire (right) performed surgery on Topsy to place the first-ever Inconel implant between the caudal end of the plastron and the muscles lining the coelomic cavity.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center Performs World’s First Inconel Implant and Launches Regular CT Scans for Sick and Injured Sea Turtle Patients

Juno Beach, FL –Despite some headlines, 2020 has brought its fair share of joy and triumphs. The Himalayas became visible for the first time in years, quarantined sing-a-longs were had, and now, transformative implant surgeries and CT scans are being made possible for sea turtle patients at Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC). This August, the LMC rehabilitation staff performed the world’s first Inconel implant surgery on LMC’s sub-adult green turtle patient, Topsy, to correct its elevated caudal carapace and buoyancy disorder. Additionally, the Center successfully partnered with Jupiter Medical Center (JMC) to capture imaging to distinguish “normal” and “abnormal” conditions for patients, which can aid in refining future therapies.

In recent weeks, Dr. Charlie Manire and Dr. Max Polyak performed surgery on Topsy to place the first-ever Inconel implant between the caudal end of the plastron and the muscles lining the coelomic cavity. The Center’s hospital staff is cautiously optimistic that the procedure could potentially alleviate the floating condition that’s commonly seen in sea turtle patients.

Dr. Charlie Manire and Dr. Max Polyak performed surgery on Topsy to place the first-ever Inconel implant between the caudal end of the plastron and the muscles lining the coelomic cavity.
Dr. Charlie Manire and Dr. Max Polyak performed surgery on Topsy to place the first-ever Inconel implant between the caudal end of the plastron and the muscles lining the coelomic cavity.

“If the operation proves to be successful, we will now have the opportunity to release more patients that were once deemed non-releasable,” said Dr. Max Polyak, LMC’s Associate Veterinarian. “Topsy was dry-docked for four days following surgery, has returned to its tank, and is being monitored for continued treatment.”

Additionally, the Center conducted thorough CT scans for two current sea turtle patients, Suzanne and Zubey, at JMC. Suzanne is a sub-adult sea turtle patient that is diagnosed with chronic debilitation. Whereas, Zubey is a juvenile loggerhead that is being treated for a pulmonary lesion. The sea turtles’ CT scans will provide a better understanding of the pathology of the diseases and help benchmark their health journey.

“If given the opportunity, we could potentially conduct CT scans on every patient that we take in considering our close proximity to JMC,” said Dr. Charlie Manire, LMC’s Director of Research and Rehabilitation. “This kind of technology is second to none in pinpointing a patients’ condition and developing tailored therapies for their full recovery.”

The Center often compares the conditions found in its sea turtle patients to human health by saying “the sea turtle tells us the health of the ocean and the ocean tells us the health of our planet.” As LMC and JMC work together, new information is being brought to the forefront for both sea turtle rehabilitation and the medical community.

“It is exciting that we can use some of our advanced imaging technologies to assist the veterinarians at Loggerhead Marinelife Center in diagnosing various diseases and traumatic injuries in their turtle patients,” noted Dr. Lee Fox, Medical Director of Imaging at Jupiter Medical Center. Facilitating accurate diagnosis enables these doctors to provide effective treatments for the turtles.”

The Center is making inroads to innovative therapies and treatments. To support the Center’s cutting-edge solutions in sea turtle rehabilitation, please consider making a donation.

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Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) is a nonprofit sea turtle research, rehabilitation and educational institution that promotes conservation of ocean ecosystems with a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The Center features an on-site hospital, research laboratory, educational exhibits and aquariums, and also operates the Juno Beach Pier, which hosts world-class angling and sightseeing. Situated on one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches, Loggerhead Marinelife Center is open daily and hosts over 350,000 guests free-of-charge each year. The Center’s conservation team works with 90 local and international organizations across six continents to form partnerships and share conservation initiatives and best practices that are core to its mission of ocean conservation. The Center is expanding and has launched its Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign, designed to accelerate and amplify LMC’s conservation and education impact. When complete, the facility will offer one of the world’s most advanced and unique experiences for guests and scientific partners. For more information, visit www.marinelife.org or call (561) 627-8280.

About Jupiter Medical Center

Rated number one for safety, quality and patient satisfaction, Jupiter Medical Center is the leading destination for world-class health care in Palm Beach County and across the Treasure Coast region. Recognized as the region’s only independent, not-for-profit hospital, Jupiter Medical Center offers a comprehensive continuum of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services, expertise and specialties, including orthopedics and spine care, cancer care, cardiac and vascular care, comprehensive stroke, obstetrics & maternity care, pediatrics, emergency care as well as diagnostic imaging, screening, testing and urgent care. For more information about Jupiter Medical Center, please call (561) 515-5910 or visit www.jupitermed.com.

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Media Contact:

Lauren Eissey, Public Relations and Engagement Specialist

561-627-8280, x124

leissey@marinelife.org

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